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homework9 02-13-2014 05:50 AM

live wires?
My old house once held an air conditioning unit which plugged into a 220v outlet. I wanted to be rid of the outlet so that I could paint. I asked my handyman to check the outlet to see if it's live. He said it tested dead and removed it and patched the wall. He said that it tested live at the circuit breaker, so he cut the wires there. This is to insure that no live wire lead to the old wall air conditioner. Now my HVAC doesn't go on. Should I call him to fix it, or get a licensed electrician?

bud16415 02-13-2014 05:54 AM

get a licensed electrician

nealtw 02-13-2014 07:32 AM

And welcome to the site.

CallMeVilla 02-13-2014 09:08 AM

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Homework, you did the right thing to come here. You will get good wisdom from these guys.

In this case, your handyman made an obvious mistake. He might not be the best at this. "It tested live at the circuit breaker" is silly --- and a clear sign. ALL the breakers test live !!

Get an electrician to restore power to the wires he cut at the breaker. You might have to dig out the old wiring to see if by re-energizing those wires, the wires in the wall get hot again. They should NOT go hot.

Why? Heavy drain items like HVAC require dedicated circuits. The old HVAC unit and your existing should NOT be on the same breaker. What probably happened was the old unit was abandoned and the wiring re-routed but the plug remained, disconnected at some junction box.

TURN OFF POWER. (May seem redundant but get in the habit) Look around your existing HVAC for this box. You will probably find the old wall wiring there.

bud16415 02-13-2014 10:13 AM

This may be the wrong thread to talk about this subject but it is also a good thread to illustrate the subject. That is when and when not to offer advice to the OP in regards to hire vs. try on their own to correct a problem. If this had to do with something less dangerous I might have considered offering the trouble shooting tips I may know on the subject.

Anyone coming here for free advice has the responsibility to know that the advice they seek could be coming from someone just like them or only slightly more trained in the subject or it could come from someone highly trained. I believe likewise it’s the responsibility of the question answerer to try and assess the skills and knowledge of the ones asking the question and base the answer given accordingly. That’s the reason in this case I didn’t offer any help beyond one of the two options the OP asked about. They have a handy man that it is clear didn’t know what he was doing and DIY for the home owner was not even in the question.

If someone tests a circuit at an outlet and finds it dead and then finds it powered at the source and cuts it. Then buries it all in the wall should not be allowed to do any electrical work IMO. It leads to a host of questions if he was testing correctly all the way to how can a wire be dead on one end and live on the other. I do believe Villa is on the right track they most likely got rid of the circuit a long time ago and unhooked the 220 in the panel and rolled the wire up and stuck it behind the box or above or something thinking well someday someone might need it and it would be easy to put back. I have seen this done quite a few times where an electric range is converted to gas and the wire is pulled. It may have even been done by the HVAC guys and they used that breaker for their new work and it may have still been labeled window AC. But there were more than enough clues that the handyman if he was trained even slightly he would have questioned what he was cutting. For that reason and the reason that the OP just repeated what they were told by him to us it is clear no one understood the problem there.

So the correct answer should be IMHO get a licensed electrician and tell him what you just told us. Doing anything past that without enough understanding of home wiring could be dangerous.

homework9 02-16-2014 06:41 AM

Thank you all for taking the time to reply.

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